Mental Health and the LGBTQ+ Community During Pride Month
Focusing on Mental Health During Pride Month
June 9, 2022
In this article we will discuss:
- Mental health statistics in the LGBTQ+ Community
- The importance of Pride Month for mental health
- How to celebrate and honor Pride Month
June is LGBTQ Pride Month, which means we are able to take some time to come together and recognize the LGBTQ+ community and inspire the word to continue to change for the better and become a more accepting place for everyone. One of the reasons that Pride Month is so important is because of the mental health issues that so often stem from not being able to accept ourselves or be proud of who and what we are.
From anxiety to depression to any number of other mental illnesses, the LGBTQIA+ community has faced a disproportionate risk of succumbing to mental health-related problems. For this reason we want to ensure any and all members of the community that they are seen and heard and encourage anyone dealing with mental illness to seek mental health treatment. Handel Behavioral Health has several offices across Massachusetts and offers online therapy, all of which have many therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists who specialize in LGBTQ+ friendly treatment. We understand you face challenges that are unique to the LGBTQ+ community and can help you overcome whatever struggles you are going through and make it easier for you to accept yourself and live a life full of Pride.
Mental Health Statistics in the LGBTQ+ Community
As we said, those who identify as LGBTQIA+ often face disproportionate levels of mental health-related issues because they face discrimination, restricted civil rights in some areas, as well as social stigmas and general mistreatment and misunderstanding from the world around them. To show why mental health treatment should be a priority for LGBTQ persons, here are a few statistics about mental health in the LGBTQ community:
- In the past year, about 45% of LGBT youth reported seriously considering suicide at least once.
- Over 39% of the community reported suffering from at least one mental illness.
- 57% have reported facing harassment or threats because of their identity.
- More than 50% were sexually harassed and more than 50% faced violent attacks due to their sexual identity.
- Nearly 50% of the transgender community strongly considered suicide at least once in the last year.
- LGBTQ youth are more than 4 times more likely to attempt or consider suicide and self-harm than straight-identifying youth.
- LGBTQ adults are twice as likely to experience mental health issues than heterosexuals.
- A 2013 survey reported over 40% of the community faced rejection from family or friends upon “coming out” to them.
- Homosexual adults are more than twice as likely to experience substance use disorder, while the trans community is more than four times as likely than heterosexuals.
- LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are more than twice as likely to face homelessness than heterosexual and cisgendered people, typically due to the rejection they face from family, freinds, and society.
The LGBTQ+ community also faces difficulty receiving quality, if any, healthcare and mental health treatment. Many healthcare professionals are not able to provide sufficient services because they do not understand the unique troubles or experiences faced by the community. In fact, many report that the treatment they receive does not focus on or even consider how their health and mental health differ from a heterosexual or cisgender individual. Finding a therapist or counselor who can appreciate and empathize with the needs and feelings of your identity is hugely important for mental health treatment, which is why we at Handel Behavioral Health put such an emphasis on the subject.
The Importance of Pride Month for Mental Health
With all of these eye-opening statistics, it’s clear to see why mental health and Pride Month are so intrinsically related. To be proud of oneself and who we are is one of the most crucial things we can achieve during mental health treatment. Pride Month is important for mental health because it shows all of those struggling to accept themselves, or feel seen and supported, or just be comfortable in their own skin, that they have a huge support system to rely on and be a part of for other people. It brings unity and belonging to those who feel lost and alone in their struggles, which is also one of the main components of mental health recovery. When we deal with these problems, we aren’t alone and in fact, have plenty of people who will help us along the way if we just seek help.
How to Celebrate and Honor Pride Month
During Pride Month it can be a little comical to see major corporations adopting a rainbow version of their logo because we understand that does not truly put any emphasis on what it means to be part of the LGBTQIA+ community or provide any real benefit. We want to shift our focus away from these types of trivial displays and towards empowering and honoring the community. Below are just a few examples of the many ways to celebrate Pride Month and show that you stand with and for the community.
- Attend a Pride parade or community event
- All across the world during June, cities and communities gather to host and participate in celebrations of Pride. Attending one of these events is a great way to be present and show your support. Massachusetts is home to many of these events such as NOHO Pride in Northampton, Massachusetts and the Boston Pride Parade and many more all across Western Mass!
- Contribute by volunteering or donating
- Volunteering at one of the aforementioned events is a fun way to provide support, but there are many organizations that support the LGBTQ community who are always welcoming to volunteers and allies. If you can’t find the time to volunteer, however, donating to these organizations is also greatly appreciated.
- Be an ally and an advocate
- Showing solidarity doesn’t always have to mean making a donation of your time and money. Often, a simple exhibition of your respect and support can be just as beneficial. Whether it means spreading awareness at work or in public, or just being present and thoughtful when talking to someone in the community, showing you care is always appreciated.
- Educate yourself
- When it comes to LGBTQ+ related issues and awareness, it’s important to take time to learn about these things and understand how you can be a better advocate or just simply empathize more deeply with the community.
Contact Handel Behavioral Health
If you or someone you care about in the LGBTQ+ community is struggling with mental illnesses or even being proud of who they are, reach out to Handel Behavioral Health today to speak with one of our many LGBTQ+ friendly therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists and learn how we can help guide you on your journey to Pride and mental health recovery.